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the blame game

I think that the biggest hurdle we face is personal blame. We spend years trying to modify or eradicate feelings that are not of our making and when we inevitably fail we take full responsibility."If only I were stronger I would be able to be normal" we tell ourselves.

As a result many of us don't seek help. We don't tell our families and friends and we suffer in silence trying to use force of will against an insurmountable enemy. But gender dysphoria is far stronger and more persistent than anything we've encountered before.

We need to allow ourselves the dignity of treating our dysphoria. There is no better gift that can we give ourselves and our families because a conflicted and incapacitated individual isn't going to be able to be much of a parent or spouse. For some, treatment can mean transition but certainly not for all. This is not an all or nothing proposition and only a minority of gender dysphorics go on to GRS.

The best way to deal with gender dysphoria is to be clear headed and free of self imposed or societal taboos. If you don't remove these obstacles you won't be able to treat your condition and you will end up trying to put a bandage on a wound that requires stiches. For example, fear that a spouse will leave you because you crossdress needs to be addressed calmly and logically. How much this person loves you might also be a pertinent question to be asked here. But when we are in the throes of the blame game we don't see our side of the equation.

The other day I referenced the work of Harry Benjamin who as a result of his extensive work with gender variant people concluded that gender identity is stamped upon us at or shortly after our birth. Understanding this should help us pave the way forward to treat ourselves with respect and dignity.

I was so chock full of obstacles that I was like a clogged drain pipe. It took repeated and sustained efforts to undo them all. Part of that work involved voracious reading of all the research that was available in order to try and understand this condition. But at a certain point that also leads to an inconclusive result.

The answer lies mostly within you.


  1. Hi Joanna,
    As you say, self-acceptance is the key and “repeated and sustained efforts” are required to peel away layers of internalized moral and social judgment. The longer we have lived with denial and self-loathing, the bigger the task and the greater the freedom which will result.
    Harold Garfinkel, a social interaction theorist, has written an excellent analysis of how cisgender members of white and Eurocentric societies have set up their gender binary as the only legitimate option, seen as natural, normal and therefore morally right.
    I was born transgender. Birth is natural. So is the gender of whatever description that we are born with. Being true to our birthright is the path to wholeness.
    Thank you again for an affirming and refreshing post.
    Carole Fraser

  2. Carole you had nothing to do with the way you were born and your instincts like mine are inherent traits of that birthright. Being true to our nature has always been an uphill battle because we swim against the current of the societies we were born into. Morality in this context does not play into the equation and yet we were conditioned to think that it does. The internalized guilt of failing to measure up needs to be removed for our own well being.

    thank you for your thoughtful comment!



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